Montgomery Passes Pedestrian Master Plan

Montgomery County Council approved the Pedestrian Master Plan, highlighting their focus on a safer, more comfortable commute.

Yesterday, the Montgomery County Council voted to approve the Pedestrian Master Plan, which is Montgomery Planning’s first comprehensive vision to improve accessibility and create safer, more comfortable experiences for people walking and rolling around the County. 

The Pedestrian Master Plan will support the goals outlined in Montgomery County’s 2017 Vision Zero Action Plan and Thrive Montgomery 2050 to eliminate traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries. 

According to the press release:

“As chair of the Transportation and Environment Committee, meeting our Vision Zero goals and creating safer, more walkable, bikeable and accessible streets are top priorities for me,” said Council President Evan Glass. “The passage of the Pedestrian Master Plan and the recent enactment of the Safe Streets Act bring us closer to our goals of making our streets safer for everyone. I’m proud of the steps we are taking to prioritize pedestrian and cyclist safety, and I look forward to the implementation of the various recommendations laid out in this plan. Additionally, I want to thank the Montgomery Planning Board and staff for their work on this holistic pedestrian and bicyclist plan.” 

“One of the primary duties of government is to keep our residents safe,” said Councilmember Marilyn Balcombe, who serves on the Transportation and Environment (TE) Committee. “The Pedestrian Master Plan is integral to ensuring the safety and comfort of pedestrians and cyclists as we continue to increase our non-auto transportation options. Achieving our Vision Zero goals is a top priority for the County, and having this plan in our toolbox will help us get there.” 

“This groundbreaking plan highlights stark disparities in transportation infrastructure that exist between different regions of our County, and clearly prioritizes how we should improve the safety of everyone walking, riding or rolling,” said Councilmember Kate Stewart, who serves on the TE Committee. “With pedestrian deaths at a 30-year high, it is imperative to act on pedestrian and cyclist safety to improve our residents’ health, our County’s economic development and our ability to meet our climate goals in time. This plan will increase connectivity to public transit and add safer routes to favorite destinations countywide. I appreciate the extensive work of Planning staff and transportation advocates to make this plan an excellent guiding document for current and future generations of County residents.”

“Achieving livable, walkable, accessible communities requires that they be safely livable, safely walkable and safely accessible,” said Council Vice President Andrew Friedson. “This Pedestrian Master Plan is a significant step forward towards changing culture and transportation policies to achieve safer roadways and more

Two bicycles using dedicated bike lanesWith more than 30 pedestrian and cyclist fatalities combined in 2022 and to date in 2023 and 945 injuries, the Pedestrian Master Plan is an essential guiding document to create safer, accessible, and more convenient connections for residents who walk, bike, or roll in the County.

The plan recommends policies, programs, and procedures in line with nationally and internationally recognized best practices that promote safer, more comfortable, more convenient, and more accessible experiences for pedestrians of all ages and abilities. The plan contains dozens of recommendations and over a hundred key actions to implement them. Some of which include building new sidewalks, improving and expanding protected crossings, plus recommendations for maintaining existing sidewalks and pathways, and making the pedestrian system more accessible.

The recommendations outlined in the plan also aim to increase walking, build a connected pedestrian network and improve pedestrian safety, all through an equity lens.

Montgomery Planning will track progress on the implementation of the plan’s recommendations using a biennial monitoring report and interactive website. The tools will document how the County is implementing the plan’s recommendations and assess how the County is achieving the plan’s performance measure targets.